Tacoma, Pierce County encourage you to 'treecycle'

When you take down your Christmas tree, don’t forget to treecycle.

Pierce County residents who subscribe to yard waste collection service can treecycle their unflocked Christmas tree curbside. Other residents can recycle trees free of charge at designated locations. Flocked trees cannot be recycled and must be disposed of as garbage. To treecycle in Pierce County, remove the stand, tinsel, decorations, nails, and staples from the tree; put the tree in your yard waste container for pick up on your regularly scheduled collection day; the tree must fit into the closed container (you may have to cut the tree into pieces); and if your tree isn’t in the container, you may be charged for the additional pick up. All of Pierce County’s transfer stations accept Christmas trees. For locations, visit http://www.piercecountywa.org/treecycle . The County composts all collected trees into PREP Compost (Pierce County Recycled Earth Products), a beneficial soil amendment that is popular with home and commercial gardeners. Treecycling also helps save valuable landfill space, and the resulting compost enhances soil quality, saves water, and reduces reliance on chemical fertilizers.

The cities of Milton, Tacoma, Puyallup, and Ruston have special collection programs for households within their city limits. Contact your city hall or local garbage hauler for more details.

Tacoma residents, apartment tenants and businesses in Tacoma may dispose of undecorated and unflocked trees free by bringing them to the recycling center at the City of Tacoma Landfill, 3510 S. Mullen St. Trees may be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. through Jan. 22. (The landfill will be closed Jan. 1.) Apartment managers or landlords who collect tenants’ trees may drop them off all at once for free, but are encouraged to call (253) 591-5543 in advance. Tree lot operators and nonprofit groups must pay for disposal.

Tacoma’s Solid Waste Management will collect only trees that have been cut and placed inside the brown yard waste container with the lid closed flat. Trees left next to containers will not be collected. Tacoma residents may recycle Christmas trees free at the Tacoma Landfill’s Recycling Center, 3510 S. Mullen St., through Jan. 22. Decorated or flocked trees cannot be recycled and must go in the garbage. Customers with questions about Christmas tree recycling may call (253) 591-5543.